Super Bowl 2011: 10 Media Day Questions That Should Be Asked (But Won't)
Super Bowl Media Day isn't really about what it's supposed to be about—a chance for unfettered access to every player that will suit up for the big game.
No, in the end, the stories that come out of Media Day tend to be about the media themselves.
The last time the Steelers went Bowling, safety Troy Polamalu took questions from a reporter wearing a Troy Polamalu wig, and a TV station set up a dance floor and put DB Bryant McFadden through a salsa contest against teammates.
A hot Spanish-language TV reporter used Media Day as her chance to propose marriage to Tom Brady (she was already wearing the wedding dress, of course), and where else but Media Day would Redskins quarterback Doug Williams have fielded the infamous question, "How long have you been a black quarterback?"
Hundreds upon hundreds of Media Day credential-holders are racking their brains for ridiculous and attention-grabbing questions as we speak.
Here are 10 they will likely fail to ask.
(Super Bowl XLV Media Day is Tuesday, Feb. 1 at 11 a.m. EST on NFL.com)
Rashard Mendenall: Does Everyone Hump Big Ben?
Rashard Mendenhall chose to celebrate the Steelers' AFC title win by mounting up on Ben Roethlisberger and...well...humping him.
It got us wondering: Is this some kind of special handshake for Big Ben around the Steelers' facility? We know that Ben has a bit of a reputation as a...um...well, a humpy kind of guy.
Was this the first time a teammate has thrust his pelvis in Ben's general direction, or is that a common team salute for Big No. 7?
Aaron Rodgers: Brett Who?
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Aaron Rodgers is certain to face countless questions along the lines of: Is this your chance to step out of Brett Farve's shadow? How does it feel to have a chance to equal Brett Favre in Super Bowl wins?
Brett Favre this, Brett Favre that. Can you spell Brett Favre?
So we think it would get a laugh if someone asked Rodgers the simple question: Brett who?
And we'd like to see Rodgers smile, because even though he would still be three NFL MVP awards and about 60,000 yards short of equaling Favre even with a win on Super Sunday, he is an easier man to root for right now.
In fact, some friends of mine played beer pong with Rodgers on the Fourth of July at his offseason home in San Diego, and they said he was a hell of a good host.
So, Aaron: Brett Who?
Mike Tomlin: Can You Teach My Team's Coach to Be Like You?
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Mike Tomlin represents everything we want in a football coach. A fearless leader of men, he looks like he could still strap on the pads and inflict pain on the field, and has an intense gaze that can melt a football from 50 yards away.
Contrast that with the head coach of your humble correspondent's favorite team, Norv Turner of the San Diego Chargers.
Norval Eugene Turner is a man who, upon entering a room, immediately fills it with the musky stink of defeat.
When faced with a critical moment on the sideline, Norval has been known to bend over at the waist and stare at the grass as if preparing to vomit.
We'd love to see Tomlin put Turner through a coaching bootcamp, forcing Turner to run through tires to work off that ridiculous gut, or screaming, "WHY ARE YOU STARING AT THE GRASS?! THE ANSWER IS NOT WRITTEN IN THE GRASS!"
Brett Keisel: Beardy Beardy Beardy Beardy Beardy
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Brett Keisel, as a defensive lineman, in most years could be one of those guys who gets ignored at Media Day and ends up walking around with a video camera or laughing at the spectacle from the bleachers.
But we all know the name Brett Keisel, and we all know why we all know the name Brett Keisel.
Beard. Beeeeaard. Nice to beard you. Beardy beardy beard.
His facial feature is so attention-grabbing, so un-ignorable, that it could cause a member of the media to react in a manner similar to Austin Powers when he meets the Mole.
Mike McCarthy: Green and Yellow?
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Packers coach Mike McCarthy has one of the best blank stares in the business.
So imagine someone asking him, "Did you consider reaching out to the Green Bay hip-hop community for a response to Wiz Khalifa's Black and Yellow?"
A question like this could help him achieve blankness to his full potential. If you didn't lose him at "Green Bay hip-hop community," the mention of the name Wiz Khalifa would surely mark the end of McCarthy's understanding of the question.
Ben Roethlisberger: What Was Your Favorite Novel of 2010?
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It's a timeless Media Day tradition to try to catch players off-guard, and Big Ben doesn't strike us as a big reader.
Factor in the countless hours the QB likely devotes to his playbook and film study, and the fact that most of us don't exactly plow through novels these days, and we're betting Ben didn't read a single novel in 2010.
But Ben is also known for battling out of tough situations.
So when faced with a question like this, we could imagine Big No. 7 breaking into a mental scramble, shaking out of the clutches of his illiteracy, and—in the back corner of the end zone of his mind—finding a memory from when he was Christmas shopping at Borders and saw 100 copies of Jonathan Franzen's novel Freedom stacked on a table near the front of the store.
So Ben says, "Freedom," the reporter happily scratches it down, and Ben scores again.
James Harrison: What Else Can You Do With That Dome?
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James Harrison made headlines earlier this season for using his helmet to deliver violent, devastating hits, then unrepentantly declaring, "I try to hurt people" on the football field.
And as we see here, Harrison also uses his head to "shake hands" with teammates.
We'd like to know what else he can do with that dome. Open a can of beer? Start a car?
In a close game, could the Steelers count on him to headbutt a crucial field goal through the uprights?
BJ Raji: How You Gonna Do 'Em Like That?!
Presumably, if you were to ask BJ Raji, "How you gonna do 'em like that?!" BJ would know exactly what you were talking about.
The pick, the early celebration, the freak-nasty hip-swiveling post-TD dance: BJ...how you gonna do 'em like that?!
Ben Roethlisberger: What Does "No" Mean?
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It's another Media Day tradition to ask the question that will infuriate a player or even get the questioner ejected from the proceedings, a task that often falls to late-night talk show interns.
This year, that question just might be best posed to Big Ben, and the question is: What does "no" mean?
For the record, the dictionary definition of the word "no" is "used to express refusal, denial, disbelief, emphasis, or disagreement."
Some define it more simply:
No means no.
Any Player: Who Do You Think Is Going to Win?
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This final question sort of reverses the premise, since it's a question that is quite pointless, but most definitely will be asked.
Ask any player who he thinks is going to win the Super Bowl, and he will undoubtedly gives an answer in which he expresses confidence in his teammates and their preparation.
But if he goes so far as to say something as direct as, "We're going to win," or use the forbidden G-word—guarantee—the remark will be set upon like raw meat thrown to starved grizzly bears.
The quote will be reported, replayed, tweeted, retweeted and taped to locker room walls.
The frenzy, the irrationality, the over-analysis: This is Super Bowl Media Day.